The purpose of Our Conscience weblog is to facilitate a greater discussion and understanding of church and state separation in our community and in others. Underlying this is the value that each individual should be allowed to follow the dictates of his or her own conscience without influence, coercion, or direction from the State when it comes to matters of religion.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ten Commandments removed from Jackson Co. courthouse

Displays of the Ten Commandments in the Jackson County Courthouse have been removed in an effort to help resolve a federal lawsuit.

The county has not filed a response to an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit that says nine framed displays throughout the courthouse were a violation of First Amendment rights of co-plaintiff Eugene Phillips Jr.

Taking the displays down "will be a big step in getting that resolved," County Attorney George T. Hays said.

According to the lawsuit, Jackson Judge-Executive William O. Smith and the county fiscal court authorized the displays of the commandments in 1999 for "no secular purpose."


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